I remember, back in the 1980s, there was a conservative school of thought that believed many of our problems could be blamed on poor, single, often non-white mothers who refused to ‘take personal responsibility’ (e.g., welfare queens, Murphy Brown! ZOMG!). I never quite understand how anyone could believe that the most powerless Americans would be able to destroy us. I thought that societal breakdown would be triggered by the failure of political and economic elites.
Well, guess what? We’re approaching breakdown:
Let’s look at one example of banana republic faux justice in the US, via a speech by foreclosure court Judge Roger Colton to his court on how the day was going to go. It’s simply breathtaking. He says that if the bank is foreclosing, he’s not going to consider any evidence that the foreclosure is in error (servicing errors, plaintiff can’t provide proof it owns the note, which means it might not be the right party and procedurally, means it lacks standing to take action). He says he has already heard everything, there is a lot of unemployment in the area; he is going to schedule a court date, but that is merely a deadline for negotiation. In other words, he makes it abundantly clear he has no interest in hearing evidence. When he gets to seeing a defendant after his speech to the court (p. 13), he rubber stamps what the bank wants without even considering the evidence. And apparently his entire day went like that. The summary from an attorney who was representing a client before him that day:
On 8/30, I had a Summary Judgment Foreclosure hearing on Palm Beach County’s “Rocket Docket”. The judge spoke for 14 minutes to the crowd, of mostly pro se defendants, about how they should just agree to the summary judgment and the plaintiffs, (whose attorneys (Shapiro & Fishman had a dedicated courtroom and to whom he referred to as “my attorneys”) would be gracious (Ha!) enough to allow them to stay in their homes for 120 days if needed (even though the statute says he only has to give them 30). When it came to hearing arguments which were fully briefed and provided to the court (pursuant to the instructions of the Divisions head judge) he only allowed 30-60 seconds for argument, failed to read any of the papers, failed to review the plaintiff’s foreclosure package,flatly ignored the Affidavit filed in Opposition, ignored my plea for a trial, signed the judgment and dismissed me. I never was permitted to even read the proposed judgment or to examine the “newly discovered” allonge which Shapiro’s counsel said I had no right to see.
We don’t need no stinkin’ evidentiary procedure! This is even worse:
Alan Grayson’s office provided a particularly troubling example, that of a counterfeited court summons. It’s bad enough that servicers and foreclosure mills are making up securitization-related paperwork out of whole cloth, but now court documents to seize someone’s home? This is lawlessness. (View on ScribD)
This is the breakdown of the mechanism of property ownership. It demonstrates a complete disregard for the rule of law. And we can’t blame poor, single minority mothers for it, either. This has to be laid squarely at the feet of those who wield economic and political power.